WILL TOYS R US RISE LIKE A PHOENIX FROM THE FLAMES?
The easy answer to this is yes, of course it will – it is clearly an inevitability (and always has been) that the Toys R Us IP including Geoffrey and the Toys R Us/Babies R Us names will be used (in some shape or form) once the dust settles.
Brands are timeless in some ways, and the reality is that from a toy consumer perspective the Toys R Us brand has not lost it’s shine.
Clearly those within the toy trade who may have been burned by supplying toys which were not paid for and ex-employees of Toys R Us may see things differently. And there does appear to be a ‘moral’ void in terms of some of the actions taken by Toys R Us on the way down and to this point. This has undoubtedly left a nasty taste in the mouth for many.
However, if we take a step back to the impact of Toys R Us going under, this removed significant store frontage for toys in the world’s biggest toy market – the USA. Longer term it can only be a good thing for the toy industry for the USA to have a healthy national toy specialist chain. And really there is only one option that still has the capability to quickly (re-)create this – that being the remnants of Toys R Us. If the brand intellectual property, own brand product range and the many good people who made Toys R Us what it was can still be tapped into, we could see a quick rebuild out of the mess.
Clearly there are many question marks over this – what format will it take, who will be involved & who will own it, how will it happen, will suppliers en masse support it and if so, on what trading terms etc. But the reality is that now the dust has settled, Toys R Us will most likely be coming back. And if we can get to a position in a couple of years time when we have a national toy specialist chain in the USA with hundreds of economically viable stores, that can surely only be a good thing.
The harsh reality is that after a significant and painful blood letting, there should be life for the remnants of Toys R Us in the USA after all, and longer term that should help the global toy industry.
We recently launched a new brand and product management service. Our small team of highly qualified, experienced toy people are now working with toy companies on a project basis to support them where they need flexible resources. To find out more, head to our sister company Kids Brand Insight here: http://www.kidsbrandinsight.com/services/